Blog Archives

Legislative Update – March 5th, 2018

Did you catch our new video on Facebook or Twitter?

Last week, we launched a new four-week series called #LearnInThree where we take one of our policy priorities, one of our TSS staffers, and one camera. Three minutes later, we’ve broken down some of the big ideas in education reform. We’ll post these four videos on Saturdays in March. We hope you’ll watch and share them with your networks!

Up this week in the General Assembly? Two bills we’re supporting and one we oppose. We also want to extend a big thank you to all of you who contacted your elected officials last week. Keep your eye on our new voter engagement platform – we’ll post new bills throughout the session. Thank you!

House Bill 2030 / Senate Bill 1975 (Forgety/Gardenhire) – We talk a lot here about increasing the opportunities for our high school students to get hands-on, real-world experience in their chosen fields. Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs) and dual enrollment courses are a great way for students to get a head start on their next steps toward success. This legislation would provide EPSOs for students interested in working in advanced integrated industrial technology. Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill and all opportunities that help our students be ready for success.

House Bill 2525 / Senate Bill 2399 (Beck/Kyle) – You’ve heard us say before that politics should stop at a school’s front door and we will always fight politically-motivated legislation that threatens Tennessee’s academic progress. This bill would prevent some public charter schools from receiving the information necessary to help inform parents of public choices available for their children. Tennesseans for Student Success opposes this bill.

Mentioned last week and up in the General Assembly this week:

House Bill 1599 / Senate Bill 1649 (Forgety/Norris) – Like HB 2030, this legislation would improve student access to career and technical education through a high-quality, work-based learning system. By incentivizing business to provide these experiences and clarifying that participating students are covered under the school district’s liability insurance, more students will have access to EPSOs. Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

We say it often, and we mean it more with each passing week – thank you for being invested in the success of every Tennessee student. We couldn’t do this work without you.

Legislative Update – February 26, 2018

In case you missed it last week, we launched our brand-new super-exciting, easy-to-use, you-won’t-regret-heading-over-to-look-at, grassroots engagement tool. From this site, you can quickly and efficiently contact your elected officials. Raising your voice in support of Tennessee’s classrooms, and of the policy priorities we announced last week, is a critical part of the work we do together.

Speaking of raising your voice, there are four bills we’re watching this week. While there are plenty of bills that come up in each legislative session, we’ll only share the ones fall under one of our policy priorities in our 2018 Legislative Agenda. At the end of each session, we’ll publish our Legislative Scorecard summarizing each bill we’ve taken a position on and the way your elected officials voted on them.

House Bill 1599/SB 1649 (Forgety/Norris) – We share the same goal – making sure our kids are ready for success when they leave our classrooms. Legislation like HB 1599 helps that goal along. This bill incentivizes Tennessee’s businesses to participate in work-based learning partnerships with local school districts. We are proud to support Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs), and proud to support HB 1599.

House Bill 1870/SB 1901 (Dunn/Gresham) – Education isn’t one-size-fits-all. Whether enrolled in a traditional zoned school, charter, magnet, or iZone school, it’s critical to student success that each school have equitable access to resources. HB 1870 ensures that charter schools are given equitable access to resources intended to support special education services. We support HB 1870 and the work to make sure every student in Tennessee is ready for success.

House Bill 2203/SB 2589 (Byrd/Hensley) – Championing student growth is about learning and also knowing where they are headed. Tools like End of Course exams (EOCs) help our kids know they are on the right track for success. Parents, teachers, and students need the information from EOCs to make sure they are mastering the Tennessee-specific content we champion in our Tennessee-specific standards. HB 2203 would not only eliminate access to the valuable information that comes from EOCs; it would tie the hands of teachers, students, and parents to make certain their students are mastering what they need to be successful after high school. We oppose HB 2203.

House Bill 1609/SB 2575 (Hill, M./Hensley) – Like the legislation above, HB 1609 would remove EOCs from Tennessee’s classrooms and replace them with a nationalized assessment. We think it’s valuable for Tennessee’s kids to learn Tennessee-specific standards and be tested with a Tennessee-specific assessment. HB 1609 ushers in a national test and throws all our Tennessee work out of the testing window. We oppose HB 1609 and similar efforts to nationalize Tennessee’s classrooms.

We hope you’ll head over to our new outreach portal and share your thoughts, support, and concerns with our elected officials. We’re so grateful you continue to raise your voice for all of Tennessee’s students, teachers, and classrooms.